Google has announced that it is removing author images from its search results. Google Authorship will still exist, but search results will look a little different.
Google Authorship is a way for site owners and bloggers to connect their name, through their Google Plus profile, to the content they publish. This is a great way to brand your content and build an online presence for your business. Many marketers also found that author photos next to search results increased click-through rates, helping them drive traffic to their sites.
John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google explained that the pictures will be removed to make search engine results pages (SERPS) cleaner and more streamlined. He also mentioned that Google is working on creating a better search experience across different devices and is focusing on mobile use.
The new update will also remove the Google Circle count that previously appeared next to Google Authorship search results.
Now, Google Authorship results will show the author’s name in front of the page’s title:Image source.
The Google News results will still include the author’s picture, but it will appear smaller and underneath the title. It will not include a Google Circle count:Image source.
Will this Affect Your Business?
According to Mueller, the click-through rates for the new search result formats is very similar to the rates for the previous formats.
If you have activated Google Authorship for your blog, it will look different when it appears in search results. In most cases your search results will no longer include your Google Plus profile, unless it is in the news section.
This could mean that your search results won’t be quite as visually branded and if your audience is used to seeing your picture next to your results, it could be an adjustment.
However, Google Authorship is still very valuable and this change doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Tying all of your content to your name and Google Plus profile could help you increase your search rankings and of course, will still add your name to the first line of your search results.
It’s difficult to say right now exactly how this change will impact businesses, but if you continue to use Google Authorship and strengthen your search engine optimisation campaigns, you’ll still reap the benefits of high search rankings. Things like increased traffic and brand awareness will still be a result of high rankings and Google Authorship.
If you haven’t yet started using Google Authorship, it’s still a good time to do so. Your name will appear next to your content titles, which could make it easer for your market to find and identify your content.
Start by setting up a Google Plus profile and making sure it is complete with your name, business name, contact information and URL. Then, follow the directions from Google to link your profile to your content.
You can also use Google Plus to connect with your market, share your content and participate in communities where you can promote your business.